British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Midsummer Night’s Dream, A

Synopsis
A version made for American television, but not transmitted, of Peter Hall’s 1959 staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Charles Laughton as Bottom and Vanessa Redgrave as Helena.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television; Video
Recording date
Dec 1959
Duration
c90

Credits

Director
Peter Hall
Producer
Hubbell Robinson
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Raymond Leppard
Production Design
Lila De Nobili
Contributor
Charles Laughton; Peter Hall
Cast
Anthony NichollsTheseus
Stephanie BidmeadHippolyta
Robert HardyOberon
Mary UreTitania
Ian HolmPuck (Robin Goodfellow)
Albert FinneyLysander
Charles LaughtonPhilostrate
Cyril LuckhamPeter Quince
David BuckUnnamed part
Diana RiggUnnamed part
Donald EcclesRobin Starveling
Donald Layne-SmithPhilostrate
Edward de SouzaDemetrius
Georgine AndersonFairy
Jean OwenFairy
Judith DownesFairy
Julian GloverSnug
Malcolm RansomFairy
Margaret O’KeefeFairy
Michael BlakemoreTom Snout
Michael ScobleFairy
Peter WoodthorpeFrancis Flute
Priscilla MorganHermia
Roy DotriceEgeus
Vanessa RedgraveHelena
Zoe CaldwellFairy

Additional Details

Theatre
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
Theatre company
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company
Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

History
A film of Peter Hall’s staging of the play intended for screening on NBC television in America but never shown. The RSC’s archive copy is a complete cut of the programme (c90 mins) with a 9-minute filmed interview by Laughton and a brief prefatory word by Peter Hall (shot in the theatre). It was shot on videotape, with cameras brought over from France. The RSC’s copy is a kinescope copy of the tape. There are no commercials or sponsor or station identification. An apron stage was built over the stalls of the theatre to accommodate camera movement. Hubball Robinson, the producer, appears to have intended it as part of a series of specials to be broadcast with Ford as sponsor and on NBC. [With grateful acknowledgment to Professor Russell Jackson for this information].

Archive

Name

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive

Email
scla@shakespeare.org.uk
Web
https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
01789 204016 (bookings)
Fax
01789 262073
Address
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6QW

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